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Big data and machine learning make compelling argument for security

By Sara Barker, Wed 26 Apr 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Big data and machine learning are increasingly being applied to the cybersecurity arena - and according to the Ponemon institute, organisations that use big data analytics are more than twice as likely to identify a security incident within hours or minutes of the breach.

Trend Micro elaborates on those statistics, saying that while big data has its challenges, machine learning in security may make the process simpler.

The company believes that any industry can use big data for security. According to a report by Cloudera and MeriTalk, 90% of surveyed IT managers said they were able to use big data to decrease the number of cyber threats. 

However, nearly half of those surveyed thought there was too much cybersecurity data to deal with, and they could not analyse it all in a ‘timely manner’. This could impact the amount of visibility in their security infrastructure.

Trend Micro believes that machine learning could potentially help to deal with the massive amount of information.

“Through pairing big data with machine learning tools, it can benefit businesses in detecting problems and quickly mitigating them to minimise potential damage,” Trend Micro says.

It can help to quickly scan data to show historical patterns of negative behaviours, leverage processes that can detect a breach while it’s happening - and from multiple sources, and it can also analyse structured and unstructured information to find image and prevent security damage.

By pooling information from multiple sources, there may be less chance of a breach: “By uniting these tools, organisations can successfully thwart attacks and decrease the chance of experiencing breaches. Assimilated data might be enough to identify a pattern of breaches."

It does come with downsides, however, as there is no way to predict exactly when a breach will appear - yet.  Trend Micro says that organisations should use multiple big data and machine learning processes to detect and prevent against attacks. 

“Cyber security is a challenge for many organisations due to constantly advancing threats. By pairing big data with machine learning tools, businesses will be able to detect issues as they occur and quickly mitigate them to minimise potential damage,” Trend Micro says.

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